Born, living and now also working in the northwestern Swedish archipelago, in rooms with a view (see below). Educated at the universities of Gothenburg and Uppsala (PhD 1983). Professor of Political Science and Development Research at the University of Oslo from 1997. My focus, since half a century, is the rise and  

decline of the second (anti-colonial) and third (liberal and civic)

waves of democracy, along with efforts at rights based development. Especially in South- and Southeast Asia, but also the effects and reactions in the North, particularly Scandinavia. My own fieldwork has been in India (mainly Kerala), the Philippines and especially Indonesia, where I was also co-directing research with the democracy movement 1996-2016. However, the studies are carried out in a wider comparative framework, along with colleagues in various parts of the Global South and North. At times while sailing, skiing or walking.

Recent & topical texts



Briefings, talks & comments

  • 'Can the Idea of Social Democracy be Rescued?' Frontlines of Democracy, Toronto 11-05-23 PDF
  • 'The North-South Question for Swedish Social Democrats- Seven Phases', Rome, 27-03-23, PDF
  • Presentation (on the need to internationalise Social Democracy) to seminar at DIIS, Cph, 1/2/23 on 'New Social Order:North South Learnings, PDF
  • 'Efforts at Social Democracy and the Rise of Rightist Reaction'. PDFs for talk, S. Asia Institute, Heidelberg, 14/11/22. PDF
  • Contribution to Round Table discussion on Indonesia in Oslo: Historical legacies: What Indonesia has overcome i its trasition from  authoritarian to more democratic rule, and what should now be done. PDF
  • Dilemmas of coordination, between dominance and localism. Draft paper for comments only to International Webinar on ‘Grassroots Participation and Local Development: Learnings from the People’s Plan Campaign’ in Kerala (India) and ‘Batho Pele Initiative’ in South Africa, May 25-27, 2022. PDF for commets only

  • Lecture in Indonesia on citizenship, the case of Scandinavia;

  • Motverka historierevisionismen i 'Dagens ETC'! PDF 'Låt bli att förtala demokratin' i Aktuellt i Politiken 16-03-22 PDF
  • My concluding 'endbook': In Search of New Social Democracy: Insights from the South – Implications for the North. London: Zed-Bloomsbury. Published 23/9/21Flyer with reviews and discount 35% Link toBloomsb  Sneak premiere presentation, PDF



      This homepage (with Swedish entries too) is to back up my retrospective ‘endbook’ In Search of New Social Democracy (2021) and related works in two ways. Firstly, with a collection of the previous writings that informed much of the book. Secondly, with briefings and analyses to follow up on the main conclusions. Entries to the archive are in the left column. Follow up briefings, comments and studies are below. But first, a few words about myself. I am a global historian and social scientist of Scandinavian roots.